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J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2009

J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2009

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"An almost confectionary sense of sweetness and ripeness pervades the Prum 2009 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese, making it something of an exception in a vintage collection generally noteworthy for the restraint of residual sugar. Apple candy, caramel, and vanilla mingle on a creamy palate, with hints of salt, stone, and apple pit happily offering some counterpoint in a long and otherwise soothing finish. This showed more grip as it opened, and perhaps time will lend more cut and complexity to a Spatlese that on the basis of track record is likely to thrive for another quarter century or more. Incidentally, this represents the first of three lots of “regular” Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese, the last of which was still in tank in September. 91 points.

The Prums noted that their 2009s (harvested from mid-October to mid-November) were unusually expressive at a young age – even in September when I tasted, little more than a month after most of them were bottled – in that respect contrasting decisively, they thought, with the recalcitrant 2008s. (That’s their opinion, please note. My own enthusiastic account of their young 2008s in issue 187 testifies to my belief that those wines were themselves testifying eloquently, even though in general 2008s were said by their growers to be slow to open.) “Although the acids are very ripe,” notes Manfred Prum of his 2009s – drawing parallels with 1997 – “they are also very present.” This latest collection tops out with Eiswein from both Bernkastel and Graach (which makes two from the Himmelreich in one year, since the 2008 was picked in January, 2009) and a B.A. (or – depending on how it evolves – it may be labeled as T.B.A.) from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, none of which I have tasted. (In keeping with past practice, I am not normally privy to the A.P.#s of every wine I taste from this collection, and the Prums remain anxious to assure me and my readers that whenever more than one lot of the same name in Kabinett or non-auction Spatlese range is bottled care is exercised to see that the differences will be minimal. In the case of Auslesen, I have however confirmed and included A.P.#s in any instances of two otherwise eponymous wines.)
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David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (192)